Mercedes-Benz promises the new 10th generation E is its highest tech yet
What better to do on a mild Tuesday afternoon with light winds, 50-50 cloud cover and a little light rain in places, than get to know the latest version of ‘the heart of the Mercedes-Benz brand? Fourteen million Mercedes-Benz E-Classes later, there’s a new range of Sedan, Coupé and Cabriolet versions of the company’s best seller on the road.
THE NEW MID EXECUTIVE BENCHMARK?
Mercedes promises to re-set the mid-executive benchmark ‘with an even more dynamic, sportier, more luxurious and the most advanced E-Class yet. , The product of an extensive facelift is heralded by clean and appealing new lines and an exclusive, high-quality interior across the board. Two-door models combine the class and beauty of a grand tourer with state-of-the-art tech, with the cabriolet sporting a classic fabric top.
New E gets a smarter, shinier front end, flatter all-LED multibeam headlamps and wider, flared wheel arches to accommodate bigger tyres. The newcomer is further set apart by a fresh rear bumper, split tail lamps and a new boot lid too.
Step inside and you’re greeted by an all-new latest generation AMG Performance multifunction steering wheel with fresh touch controls ahead of a widescreen cockpit comprising a pair of standard large 10.25 inch MBUX display screens. They’re backed by latest generation augmented reality ‘Hey Mercedes’ multimedia with video navigation images. It will take some time to become familiar with, but will surely soon become a pleasure to use.
A HIGH TECH FEAST
New E also gets route-based speed-adjustable Active Distance speed control with Active Tailback that responds to tailbacks before the driver even knows they are there, distance and lane-keeping tech up to 60 km/h, Blind Spot assistants and a Parking Package with 360° camera. Lane departure correction inputs are quite noticeable, firm and direct, with firm input to go around slow vehicles turning right ahead.
These cars are all superbly well finished with great build quality in and out. We enjoyed the new Energising seat kinetics that use music, lighting and massage modes to keep you happy as a bird through a wide range of feel-good programmes. New E also gets Urban Guard parked vehicle surveillance.
Top of the new E pops is the double-twin-scroll turbocharged 450 kW 850 Nm 11.6 l/100 km biturbo 3982 cc biturbo V8 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4Matic+ with a well balanced ECO start/stop. Good for 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and a massive 300 km/h top end, it gets an AMG speedshift MCT 9-speed automatic with short shift times and fast multiple downshifts. A double de-clutching function adds an emotive gear shifting experience.
MAD AMG E63 S HAS RWD MODE
The E63 S’s AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive now includes a purely rear-wheel drive Drift Mode like its fierce rival BMW M5 with Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ Individual and Race modes. Add 3-stage ESP; Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes for the new three-chamber Adaptive Damping air suspension for an exemplary blend of driving dynamics and ride characteristics. All modes can be switched to manual.
Pedigreed from the ground up, the new E63 AMG has internally ventilated and perforated compound 360 x 36 mm brake discs with six-piston fixed callipers up front, and 402 x 29 mm discs with single-piston floating brake callipers at the rear. If that’s not enough, you can tick that box for optional AMG 402 x 39 mm Carbon Ceramic front and 360 x 32 mm rear disc brakes.
E63 gets fine nappa leather interior trim and high comfort AMG-specific MBUX displays and settings, brushed stainless pedals with rubber studs, AMG monocled door sill panels and black floor mats with door sill panels and black floor mats to accentuate the sporty look.
E63 THE BEAST YOU EXPECT
The E63 S is precisely the beast you expect with that 850 Nm torque coming on tap very early. So four-wheel drifting is easily initiated on to the skid pan with a hard turn and a generous boot of power. Not the easiest art to master, too slow and no drift. Too fast and you just spin out! So it needs a delicate balance that will only be mastered by time in the seat. The pros make it look easy, even if there was a lot going on at the controls.
Next up and probably the most significant of these new models, are the AMG E 53 4Matic+ Coupé and Cabrio propelled by an all-new 320 kW 520 Nm 2999 cc 3-litre straight six hybrid with an exhaust gas turbo and an electric charger too. Add an electric motor residing in its 9-speed gearbox for a bonus 16 kW 250 Nm EQ Boost additional output. Its good for a 4.4 second 0-100 and 250 km/h, 8.6 l/100 km and 198 g/km in the Coupe
All the new AMG 53s also come with Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution, a system so well accentuated by series of drag race tests that brought the best out of it and the E63s’ user friendly launch control process. Just plant it with your left foot on the brake, count down from three and let the brake go. Wow! Hold on tight.
URGENT LAUNCH FEEL
Both models launch with a mad and impressive sense of urgency and without any wheel slip. Traction is immediate and the cars track perfectly straight. Gear changes are unnoticeable and braking is urgent. All well under control.
One has a solid feel of the car through the comfortable, thick steering wheel and that new damping system keep it more than comfortable at all times — even on track. They are super stable with a solid and precise braking feel too. The gearbox box is lightning quick with rev matching blips that sound great through deceleration. Assisted by a small DC motor on launch, the E53 also makes brisk town commuting effortless.
The rest of the range comprises four-cylinder engines and includes an E200 in all three body styles, an E 220d sedan and an E300 in the Coupé and Cabriolet. On the petrol side, the 190 kW 370 Nm E300 two-doors are good for 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds and consume 6.6 l/100km while emitting 151 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The 145 Kw 320 Nm 1991 cc E 200 manages 6.9 l/100 km and 149 g/km CO2 and tops 240 km/h,
E 220d TURBODIESEL SIPS 4.7 PER 100
The 143 kW 400 Nm 1950 cc E 220d turbodiesel sips 4.7l/100 km at 123 g/km and tops 235 km/h. Both sedans deliver 7.4 seconds to 100km/h and all the four-pots have 9G Tronic automatic gearboxes.
Out on to the road, the E 200 and E 300 both felt solid and behaved very well. Acceleration is impressive, especially at high altitude and the engines rev freely through a sliky smooth drivetrain. The new E is stable on the road, even in hard braking. The E 300 just adds a lot more punch on acceleration. All models are well balanced with no surprises in the handling department.
Riding the E 300 Cabriolet with the top down and the windows up gave a great ride on the open road is a wonderful experience — airflow flow is pleasantly mild with no buffeting at higher speeds. – Ken Hawkins
New Mercedes-Benz E-Class Pricing E 200 Sedan R920K E 220d Sedan R984K E 200 Coupé R1.03M E 200 Cabriolet R1.16M E 300 Coupé R1.13M E 300 Cabriolet R1.26M AMG E53 Coupé R1.61M AMG E53 Cabriolet R1.75M AMG E63 S Sedan R2.42M